Palestine and Jacksonville enter this contest coming off season openers against a pair of Class 3A teams expected to contend for a state championship.

Palestine opens with Waco La Vega, while the Indians begin the season against area powerhouse Carthage. So Palestine and Jacksonville should learn quite a bit about their teams after this one on Sept. 7.

The two towns are separated by 26 miles along U.S. 79, and the teams played 10 consecutive seasons from 2000-2009 with Jacksonville winning nine times.

There should be a plethora of speed on the field when these teams get together as both squads are fairly deep at the skill positions. The Wildcats will rely heavily upon their duo of quarterback Brian Gummelt and running back Darrius Stephens, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards a season ago. Jacksonville will lean on linebacker Bryson Haywood and defensive back Londedrick Taylor to slow down the speedy Palestine offense. The Indians have plenty of athleticism on offense as well with potential potential Division I recruit Darrell Minifee returning at receiver.


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